Robert Baddeley Simpson
February 03, 1936, Marrickville, Sydney, New South Wales
Right hand Bat
A key figure in Australian cricket for more than four decades, as cricketer, captain, coach and commentator, Bob Simpson first toured with Australia in 1957-58 as an allrounder, bowling legbreaks and fielding infallibly at slip. He subsequently became a first-rate opening batsman, although it wasn't until his 30th Test, by which time he had succeeded to the captaincy, that he first posted a Test hundred. He made this breakthrough innings at Old Trafford count, by turning it into 311 in almost 13 hours. In all he made 1381 Test runs in 1964, a record at the time. Hard-bitten and immensely dedicated, he steadily rationalised his repertoire of strokes, eschewing the hook, but excelling as an acquirer of singles; Australia has had no more productive an opening pairing than Simpson and Bill Lawry. With the advent of World Series Cricket in April 1977, Simmo emerged from retirement at 41 to lead Australia again, against India, where his old powers against spin were evident, and West Indies, whose fast bowlers proved more taxing: his captaincy record, ultimately, was rather modest. When Australia went looking for a fulltime coach in the mid-1980s, he was again the Board's choice, and gave Allan Border's team a taste of the discipline to which he had always submitted himself as a player. A martinet where fitness, fielding and batting technique were concerned, he held the job for a controversial but successful decade, during which time the team won the World Cup and regained both the Ashes and the Frank Worrell Trophy. He also had stints in county cricket, coaching Leicestershire and Lancashire.
Batting & Fielding
Umpire & Referee